What computer should I buy in 2017?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by DaveF, Jan 14, 2017.

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What computer should I buy in 2017?

  1. Nothing - Wait for 2018

    25.0%
  2. Upgrade your outdated iMac

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 2017 iMac 27"

    41.7%
  4. 2017 Mac Mini + 4K Monitor

    8.3%
  5. Windows 10 PC (Apple Tax / Apple is doooooomed!)

    25.0%
  6. iPad Pro (Desktops are so 2015)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Misc thoughts while I wait for my new iMac...

    I don't share the concerns about all-in-one hardware. My 2007 MBP lasted me about seven years before it was suffering severe hardware / software failures. It was getting time to upgrade regardless and no one is upgrading components in a 7 year old PC. I'm on a 2009 iMac, also about eight years old and it's struggling with El Capitan and other recent software upgrades. An SSD would breathe extra life into it, but is it worth spending $200 to boost a nearly decade old computer?


    I think Windows 10 and current "PC" hardware is perfectly cromulent. I prefer using macOS for my personal uses currently, particularly due to the "ecosystem" of my iPhone and iPad and my wife's iMac. But Windows 10 works well and is easy enough to use.


    Pricing: this is an interesting issue. One the one hand, I challenge anyone to find me a Windows PC equal to the 5k iMac (all-in-one screen and all) for an appreciably better price. On the other hand, if I wanted a Win10 system for my home-office use, I could save a around $1000 with a generic box PC with an i5 and integrated graphics driving a 27" 4k monitor. I am overspending on Apple in that I'm buying a much bigger, better monitor than I need.


    If I were a PC gamer, there's no way I'd buy a Mac. (Hat tip to my friends who do buy Macs and play games, often in Parallels or BootCamp. I think they're a little bit nutty :) )


    Likewise for Home Theater enthusiasts. I did the research and built a Windows box for the DIY media box. I don't see the Mac solution as being nearly as good, except for more limited uses. And for such niche use, building is cheaper than buying. But it's more difficult.


    If I were doing engineering analytical work (as I used to)...that's interesting. I see pro's in my field carrying a mixture of PC and Mac laptops. The practical value of a Windows laptop with docking station cannot be overstated, and I remain baffled as to how Apple has ignored this need for decades. But depending on my needs, I could see getting a high-end Windows desktop for technical work and a Macbook Nothing or Macbook Escape for business travel and basic office apps, and run bootcamp / parallels if necessary on the road.


    If I were once again a poor grad student...I think a Mac is much better option in 2017 than it was in 1997. But I still don't know that I'd buy a Mac if I again a penny-pinching student.

    But as middle-aged-me with a mortgage and a deck and a Weber grill, I'll spend some extra dollars on the computer that suits both my needs and my desires.


    What does the future hold? I've used a bit of everything over the years. (Except for Linux. I still haven't found a need for Linux in my life.) I switched to Apple when Microsoft had lost its way and Apple had re-emerged as the best computer maker bar none; at the same time I was feeling stagnant having been on Windows for a decade or more. I've now been with Apple for a decade. It's not yet time to switch computer systems. But I do think that Apple is struggling to figure out what to do with its desktop line and Microsoft has found the rudder and really coming on strong. So in a few years, I could be asking this question again. :)
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Plus, for all the Mac bashing Windows users, would Windows even exist if not for the Mac?
     
  3. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Apple didn't exactly invent the GUI. They were not even the first to commercialize it. Xerox was.

    I'm pretty sure that GUI's were being developed by other makers, regardless of Apple. They would have happened even if Apple hadn't existed. Competition just meant that development and improvements happened a lot faster than they would have if only one manufacturer had existed.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This is perhaps like asking what the internet would look like if Tim Berners Lee hasn't invented hyperlinking and the World Wide Web. We wouldn't have stayed put with FTP and Gopher clients and USENET readers...but it would very likely look very differently than today.

    Kinda like an alt-future where there was no iPhone, Android phones were bad Blackberry knockoffs, and RIM was the global tech leader.

    Or where Google never went past a student project and internet search was lead by Yahoo and AltaVista for another decade.

    :)
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    My iMac was slated for Jun 23. The delivery has silently slipped to Jun 27.
     
  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    I've been lurking with interest because I'm running a 2009 MacBook Pro that I realize won't last forever.

    Ten years ago, my computing needs were significantly different. I was shooting tons of digital video, doing simple edits, and lots of transcoding and sharing that video online with "clients". These days, I work in an office and don't have any freelancing jobs on the side, and very rarely shoot or edit any video. Computers have advanced so much that any entry-level Mac would be able to do the very simple type of captures and edits I'd do.

    I don't like some things about the current MacBook Pros (no optical drive and no more 17" screens - which were probably the two most useful things on my current laptop). Because I have an iPhone, AppleTV, and since my wife had a MacBook and an iPad, my preference would probably be to stay in the ecosystem.

    And then I started to wonder if I even need to own my own computer anymore. Ten years ago, I'd come home from work and have my laptop on and off to the side all night, consulting it periodically. Now, there are a lot of nights where it just stays in its spot, unopened, because I can use my iPhone to do the things I used to use on the Mac. The only thing I've really used my Mac for in the last six months that I'd prefer not to do on my phone is when I write my "blind buy" reviews here on HTF - for that I like a keyboard. But this right here I'm typing on the iPhone.

    I'm just having these thoughts now for the first time and I'm a little bit stunned to realize that I could probably live without a computer. Throw in the fact that I have an iPhone, and that my wife has a computer I can use anytime, and I could probably make due just fine. It feels so strange to come to that realization, as if I'm missing something obvious.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I told my brother in law I was computer shopping and he asked me why I'd buy a computer at this point rather than just getting an iPad. And he's not a super gadget nerd. For his home / personal use, he's got the 12.9" iPad Pro and loves it.

    I'm getting close to not needing a desktop computer. But there are still things that can't be done on an iPad ranging from fussy (edit iTunes metadata or edit group in Contacts) to more significant (1Password doesn't have all settings in its iOS app, basic photo management is still much easier on the desktop than iOS) to appreciable (a pro app I use sometimes is desktop only).

    But, more generally, it's to where lots of normal people can go iOS only for a computer.
     
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    Some great points there. And to add to that, even if I didn't have my own computer, I'd have access to my wife's and set up my own profile on it. In all the years we've been together I can count on one hand the number of times we've both needed to be on our computers at the same time. So maybe my question isn't, do I need a computer at all (maybe) but, do I need a second computer in the house, and that answer may be no.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    We've talked about that. Eleven years ago. Every marriage has its foibles. Ours is that I don't use my wife's computer. :D
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    Your wife actually uses hers though, right? Sorry if I'm mixing you up with someone else but if she's actually using hers for work or at home, not sharing makes sense.

    My wife and I are people who used to be heavy computing users who have just seen our usage decline naturally over time. A lot of it is the availability and convenience of the iphones - if I want to look up a piece of trivia, I don't need to boot up the laptop for that. Texting and iMessaging have almost entirely replaced emailing. I used to download media on the computer; now the set top boxes stream it instead. The iPhone doesn't even need to be connected to the computer at all anymore. My wife rarely uses her computer for an extended length of time anymore. She uses hers more than I use mine but it's still way down. Both of us work office jobs where we sit in front of Internet-connected PCs for 8-10 hours a day where there is some downtime to surf the web, and I think that's part of it too. By the time we make it home, we've already seen all of the day's news and trending pop culture stuff.

    I'm really stunned at all of this, I never would have guessed that I'd be on my computer less as I got older instead of more.

    On the other hand, if all the iPhones in the world disappeared tomorrow, Im sure my computer usage would go back up.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Yes, my wife uses her computer for a mix of personal and household and professional uses. Our marriage would probably fail if we had to share a computer :) Among other reasons, there are times that she's on hers doing finances or her work and I'm on mine doing HTF.

    I don't think we're typical. So many households have a household computer.

    I use a mixture of everything. When put of the house, it's all iOS devices. In the house, it's a mix of desktop and mobile depending. I'm a bad touchscreen Tyler, so any real messaging I do on the desktop. But for noodling around, couch web surfing, all mobile.
     
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  12. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    My use of devices is similar to Dave's profile, except replace IOS with Android when it comes to mobile devices. I generally prefer using a keyboard for typing over touchscreen keyboards, but using a pad or phone is more convenient or required due to a person's location.
     

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